Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
When referring to one’s life, balance is a harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts of one’s life. These parts of life can be categorized many ways, the most general categories being personal and professional. These two general categories can then be broken down further. For example, a personal life can consist of love, friendship, fitness, spirituality, relaxation, and learning. The categories we choose are up to each one of us based on the importance of these categories in our lives.
Having a balanced life does not mean each day of your life must be balanced. Some work requires excessively long hours during the holiday season. Many people get more sleep and relaxation on the weekends, so they have the needed physical and mental energy to forge ahead during the work week. Living a balanced life is seeing life as a big picture and not just a series of days.
Success ultimately depends on finding balance. Each of us has a different balance point for every part of our lives. Some believe that the moment we find that balance point we find true happiness. However, if we live an unbalanced life, we will eventually experience feelings of guilt, failure, and emptiness. When we find balance, we are essentially meeting more of our needs, and we live a more fulfilled life.
Nobody can tell us how to live a balanced life because only we can define what balance means to us. Finding balance is about using a combination of common sense, circumstance, and trial-and-error. We must determine for ourselves what is too much and what is not enough. Here is a partial list of some examples where finding balance is essential to success.
- Use humor often, but don’t be a comedian (unless that is your goal).
- Be persistent, but know when to move on.
- Have definite goals, but be flexible with them.
- Build your self-esteem, but don’t give yourself a big ego.
- Think huge, but be realistic.
- Exercise regularly, but don’t over do it.
- Go the extra mile for people, but don’t do too much for them.
- Read or listen to educational material, but make sure you spend time taking action as well.
- Reinforce positively, but use negative reinforcement when required.
- Risk some of your money, but not all of it.
- Use the power of questions, but not too often.
- Avoid criticizing and complaining, but don’t let people walk all over you.
- Forgive and forget, but learn from the past.
- Smile often, but not all the time.
- Live in the present, but mentally visit the past and future every now and then.
- Avoid offending others, but don’t try to please everybody.
- Avoid using negative words, but don’t hesitate to tell your kids not to play with fire.
- Do some things yourself, but leave other things for others.
- Have a good vocabulary, but don’t talk over people’s heads.
- Use good grammar, but don’t be pretentious.
- Set up spam filters, but don’t let them trash good e-mail.
- Have multiple streams of income, but don’t neglect focus.
- Success is learning, but success is also doing.
Balance should not be used as an excuse. It is easy to give in to instant gratification, or take the easy way out and justify one’s actions as “finding balance,” but that is not what finding balance is about. Finding balance is about improving the quality of your life while bringing you closer to your goals. Find balance, and you may just find success right beside it.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)